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Museum Operators Appeal to Gov’t for Funding

John Ssempebwa, the proprietor of the Lubaga Division based Ssemagulu Museum said that every region of Uganda has a lot of historical sites and history that Government needs to take invest in to allow for their expansion.
19 May 2022 12:17
Brims Collectibles displaying vintage phones, radios, televisions and recorders.

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Uganda-based museum operators have appealed to the Government for funding to the sector to facilitate expansion in order to enable them steadily contribution to the national economy.

They made the call on Wednesday as the country joined the rest of the world to celebrate the International Museum Day under the theme, ‘The Power of Museums’ held every 18th May, annually. Uganda has several private museums across the country, and the Government aided National Museum.

John Ssempebwa, the proprietor of the Lubaga Division based Ssemagulu Museum said that every region of Uganda has a lot of historical sights and history that the government needs to  invest in to allow for their expansion.

Ssempebwa says that adequate Government’s funding and technical support to the sector would ensure proper standards and regulatory framework which apparently is missing to make operations of the museums lucrative to the country.

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Speaking to URN during an interview from his premises located in Mutundwe, a suburb in Kampala, Ssempebwa said during Covid-19 lockdown, Government aided other sectors of the economy but ignored the museum operators that makes the celebration not worthwhile.

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Ssemagulu Museum has the late Ben Kiwanuka’s car which he used to drive. As Chief Justice, Kiwanuka was abducted from his chambres and murdered on September 22 1972 during Idi Amin’s regime was Uganda’s first prime minister and led the country in the transition between colonial British rule and independence.

The Ssemagulu Museum also has historical relics and monuments of the Kings of Buganda Kingdom and several antiquities like television sets, radios, and shoes among others. 

At the National Museum where the main celebrations were, there were calls for more funding for the museum for its activities to progress.

Samuel Kizaalwa the Assistant Commissioner of the Museums Department under the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife, and Antiquities concurred with the appeal noting that the museums need more funding to expand and collect more artifacts.

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Kizaalwa explained that the National Museum was constructed in 1954 and is limited by space making many artefacts difficult to keep and display. 

He observed that the situation calls for more funding to set up more galleries for the artifacts.

The National Museum collects money in form of entry fee which brings in little revenue as tourists do not come in daily. Students are charged 2,000 Shillings while Ugandan adults pay 5,000 Shillings and foreign tourists Shillings 10,000. 

In each quota, Government allocates somce 300 million Shillings for recurrent activities such as running the day to day activities of the museum and the regional museums to improve on infrastructure and to maintain the objects collected.

Museum collections involve objects, specimens, and archival and manuscript collections that are important museum resources for the information they provide about processes, events, and interactions among people and the environment.

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